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Using Light

Written by Rutheah Rodehorst

This week I want to talk about light.

Since photography is all about the way light is captured through a lens, it’s obvious why it is so important!

Have you ever noticed when using your point and shoot, or cell phone camera there seems to be a over abundance of light when you use the flash? Or there’s so much light that it washes out your subject completely? Try turning off the flash. If you’re indoors, you can really utilize natural light by moving your subject near a window or door with indirect sunlight. (Indirect meaning, the sun isn’t blaring through the glass.) I generally take advantage of north facing windows. This allows the light to naturally fill the shadows so there isn’t a need for the flash. Play around with it! If your trying to take a picture of your kiddos playing and if it’s dark, just move near a window and see the difference that makes! 

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What about outdoors? Light changes a lot throughout the day. In the early morning the sunlight is fresher and a bit rosy; mid-morning/afternoon the light is bright and crisp; evening it’s more golden and glowy. I very much prefer the evening light to shoot, especially if it’s sunny. When you’re taking pictures outside, try finding a good chunk of shade to shoot in. Direct sunlight is harsh and can cause weird shadows that can be unflattering or distracting. Shade is generally the best and the light is nice and even. If you can’t find shade, try making sure that the sun is behind your subject. I’ve found this technique works best when the sun is lower in the sky. What about a cloudy day? Lucky you, you can do pretty much whatever you want on cloudy days! The clouds act as a big soft-box filter and generally the light is always flattering. 

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Don’t forget, these tips can are for anyone with any type of camera…and not just a fancy camera. I follow these rules when snapping away on my iPhone, too!  Play around these next few weeks. Try out different things, notice how using light can shape an image, change an image and make a photo really come to life! 

About the author

Rutheah Rodehorst

I’m a wife to my best friend, Momma of three little curly haired munchkins and passionate photographer. Now comes the part where I tell you how I have a little love affair with my camera…it’s true. At the risk of sounding cheesy, photography has made me see the beauty in the sweet simple things that I used overlook. Getting to capture little glimpses of pure love, raw emotion, and that newborn-baby-sweetness…I love it and am so thankful that I am able to preserve those memories. If i’m not out shooting, I’ll most likely be at the YMCA or browsing the aisles of Target with black coffee in my hand.

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